1890 Players' National League Base Ball Guide
Baseball history photo: Front cover of 1890 Players' National League Base Ball Guide. The Players' League was formed as a result of the years of abuse by the owners towards their players and the brainchild of player John Montgomery Ward. Although it lasted only one season the PL did outdraw both the National League and American Association in attendance in 1890. The PL attempted to distinguish itself from the NL and AA and introduced new rules. Each game was to have two umpires who dressed in all-white (the NL did not start this practice until the 20th century), all teams wore white uniforms at home, except for the Philadelphia club who wore navy at home and gray on the road, Chicago and Cleveland, who wore black on the road and Philadelphia who wore dark maroon on the road. The PL was also the first league to institute the "infield fly" rule, defined in the playing rules, which put an end to infielders purposely allowing fly balls hit to the infield to drop with runners on base, in order to make double plays. The NLAABBC, usually referred to as the NL, did not adopt this rule until 1894. Retail monopolist and NL ruler Albert Spalding, who was no friend of John W. Ward's, was the PL's biggest antagonist and despised the fact that a third league was in competition for the public's money. Spalding was also incensed that there was competition in Chicago, his city, which he was successful in keeping the American Association out of during their 10-year existence from 1882–1891. Click photo to return to previous page.